Charges for former Game Council chief

Former acting chief executive of the NSW Game Council, Greg McFarland, has been charged with offences relating to illegal hunting and trespassing.

On April 5 Mr McFarland and Game Council volunteer, Edward Hoogenboom, were charged with a total of 17 offences stemming from an incident in which they allegedly killed a feral goat on a remote property south of Cobar.

Police in Orange confiscated firearms from the homes of the men, and the Darling River Local Area Command issued a statement which said that both men’s firearms licences have been suspended.”

The matters are due to go before the Cobar Local court on May 16. Continue reading Charges for former Game Council chief

National parks hunting shelved

The introduction of hunting in NSW national parks has been postponed until at least mid-year following allegations of illegal activity by employees of the Game Council NSW, the organisation which was to have overseen the program.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has ordered a review of the governance of the Game Council , which regulates hunting in the state.

Last year O’Farrell announced 77 national parks and reserves would be opened for amateur hunting of feral animals under a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party.

The contentious program was due to begin in March, but a risk assessment process had delayed its start date until May. Continue reading National parks hunting shelved

Letter to the Editor: hunting in national parks

Dear Sir,

I wrote the email below about a month ago in response to your article in the Veterinarian, thinking, ever so stupidly that it might just go away …. and so never sent it on!

As you can see by these links my worst fears are coming to light…

Dear Sir,

I could not believe that anyone who calls themselves a veterinarian could support the hunting of animals in any form or shape. Hunting is a sport where the intention is to kill. Before their eventual death animals affected by hunting endure varying and unpredictable levels of fear, pain and suffering, no matter how careful, accurate or proficient the hunter. This is not my opinion – it is a fact.

This is a considerably different issue if we were talking about professional killers – however, even then the opportunities for welfare issues are still enormous, as the kangaroo industry has demonstrated for years.

As far as I can see there can be no situation where hunting by amateurs anywhere, will not result in fear, pain and suffering in the animals that are targeted, whether they be noxious pests, feral menaces or accidental victims of a trigger happy hunter “having a blast of a weekend”.  The Parks personnel would agree – that is why they are striking and rallying against such stupid legislation.

Whilst I know there are some hunters out there who really do appreciate wildlife and are passionate about removing feral animals from natural environments (as am I) in general the hoi polloi who own guns and want to go hunting are not that responsible. Remember this is the same group of people lobbying to have 12-year-old children running around our parks with bows and arrows and hunting knives.

Clearly the President of the AVA’s Conservation Group is merely playing politics. It’s nice to be seen as the “voice of reason” and it makes you appear to be sound and thoughtful. I have been a veterinarian for over 27 years, and have also looked after thousands of wildlife in that period. I have seen the pain and suffering that mankind inflicts on wildlife (both native and introduced) just through carrying out their normal activities (e.g. driving along the road in cars and trucks fitted with penis-enhancing bull bars, tearing down the bush for housing, shooting at wildlife to “protect” their crops, netting platypus in fish traps, destroying fragile environments for coal, gold, and whatever other selfish object of their inane desire may be. I have attended a number of licensed “kills” designed to reduce the feral and the native population in various areas of the state and I can attest that those supposed hunters with years of experience that attended were some of the worst marksman that I have ever witnessed; needless to say their intended victims where shot about as inhumanely as one could imagine.

In this light I have thought long and hard and can see no benefit from allowing people to fulfil their sick urge to kill, and dress it up as being for the “good of the community”. Why not just join the armed forces and go overseas? Continue reading Letter to the Editor: hunting in national parks

Veterinarian support for O’Farrell’s national park hunting plan

The President of the AVA’s Conservation group, Geoff Dutton, has offered support for NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s decision to allow hunting in 79 of the state’s national parks, provided animal welfare is being carefully considered and a strict licensing system is imposed.

Under the changes, licensed shooters can apply to hunt feral animals including pigs, dogs, cats, . . . → Read More: Veterinarian support for O’Farrell’s national park hunting plan

RSPCA demands end to pig hunting

The NSW branch of the RSPCA is calling for an end to feral pig hunts using dogs in state forests.

The campaign comes on the heels of the NSW Game Council’s invitation to 24 hunters to participate in a trail using pig dogs to hunt feral pigs.

The trial commenced on April 30 in Nundle, Hanging Rock and Tomalla state forests in the New England area.

Continue reading RSPCA demands end to pig hunting